By Mollie Mansfield
A mum-of-two has raised over £100,000 from paintings of celebrity dogs commissioned by the likes of the Queen, Ivana Trump and Barbra Streisand.
Cindy Lass, 53, has spent over 17 years painting portraits of high-end celebrities pets from across the world even capturing singer Streisand’s cloned dogs on canvas.
Despite knowing nothing about art, Cindy started painting due to falling behind in academic subjects at school due to dyslexia.
But now Cindy has been commissioned by famous faces to paint their pets, including Bill Clinton, The Osbourne’s, Richard Branson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brad Pitt.
And despite raking in thousands of pounds for her portraits, Cindy donates the majority of it to charities close to her heart, and only makes an income from small commissions.
Cindy, from St Johns Wood, North London, said: “The first celebrity I approached was Elton John, and he told me he’d pay Battersea Dogs and Cats Home £5000 for me to paint his two dogs.
“The painting got a private car to his house and then he rang me to tell me he was really happy with it, and from there on I had the confidence to keep going.
“Now my portraits hang in celebrities houses and that’s a great feeling – knowing my art work is good enough to hang in the Queen’s private quarters!
“But I do still get nervous each commission I do, as I know how much these people love their animals and I don’t want to offend them.
“Saying that, the only negative feedback I have ever received is that my portraits are too big and that’s it!”
Despite having a star-studded portfolio, Cindy’s most recent commission was to paint Barbra Streisand’s dog, Samantha, who she cloned twice.
Cindy is set to travel to the United States in May to present Barbra with the portrait of her beloved dog who recently passed away.
She said: “I am nervous to fly over and give it to Barbra myself, but I am subtly confident as I spent almost two months perfecting her painting.
“It’s clear how much she loved her dog – she even cloned her twice – so I was apprehensive when I was painting her as I wanted to make sure it was perfect.
“Despite my profession, it is also very exciting to meet the celebrities, so I am very excited to meet Barbra as I think she’s an amazing woman.
“This is one of my favourite paintings that I have done so far, but I also love George Michael’s Labradors, Bill Clinton’s cat and Sting’s dog – which is in their villa in Tuscany.”
During her artistic career, Cindy has raised over £50,000 for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and even raised £18,000 for one dog portrait.
However, Cindy insists that she paints for her love of art and rarely cashes in any of the money she receives.
She added: “If someone were to buy one of my paintings they start from £5000, and I’ve made over £100,000 for charities in the past 17 years.
“I only ever earn a living from the odd commission that I do for someone who really wants a portrait.
“I do it for the love of painting and to help animals through my charity work, but also it is great knowing my art will go to celebrities.
“I have also released needlepoint artwork to encourage others to be creative and do a lot of ongoing charity work, but I feel as though I will always be known as a celebrity pet painter, which I love!”
To see more of Cindy’s work you can visit: https://www.cindylassneedlepoint.com/ and http://cindylass.com/cindy-lass-all-our-hearts-beat-as-one/